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The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous and beautiful châteaux. I recommend the Château de Blois. Unlike most, it’s located in the center of a medium-sized town. This atypical location does not detract from the preservation of its history.

Find out everything you need to know before visiting the Château de Blois.

Château de Blois: A Historical Journey through Four Royal Dynasties

The Château de Blois, located in the heart of the town of Blois, bears witness to 1,000 years of French history. This jewel of the Loire is an exquisite blend of flamboyant Gothic, Renaissance and Classical styles, each illustrating a distinct chapter in its history.

facade chateau blois
Here’s a view of the façade before entering the château.

Its construction began in the 13th century under the Counts of Blois, but it was in the 15th and 16th centuries that it enjoyed its heyday. It became a favorite residence of the kings of France, testifying to the power of the Valois and Orléans dynasties.

Louis XII (1462-1515) had the wing bearing his name built in the Gothic style. Its facade is adorned with sculptures of porcupines, his emblem, and that of his wife, Anne de Bretagne, the ermine. Their initials can also be seen on the façade, a reminder of their presence in this place steeped in history.

Louis XII’s successor, François I (1494-1547), continued to transform the château in the Italian Renaissance style. He was responsible for the astonishing exterior spiral staircase, an architectural feat of the period.

salamander chateau de blois
Carved salamanders can also be found. The salamander was the emblem of François I. | Source: Adrien Le Toux/

But the Château de Blois has also been the scene of royal plots and dramas. It was here in 1588 that Henri III (1551-1589) had the Duke of Guise assassinated, a major event in the Wars of Religion.


Highlights of a visit to Château de Blois

  • The monumental staircase: a Renaissance architectural masterpiece.
  • The State Hall: a treasure trove of history preserved in time.
  • You can visit the château’s roof structure. It is impressive.
  • Sound and light show: a breathtaking night-time spectacle that brings the castle to life.
  • The central location offers beautiful views over the Loire and the town of Blois.

Disadvantages of visiting Château de Blois

  • The direction of the visit is imposed. Some visitors like it, others don’t.
  • The château is less majestic than others such as Chenonceau or Chambord.

What can you see at Château de Blois?

When you venture into the Château de Blois, every nook and cranny offers a window into a royal past. As soon as you enter, the spiral staircase, a Renaissance masterpiece, leaves you speechless. Its delicate sculptures evoke scenes from ancient mythology and representations of exotic animals.

The royal apartments, adorned with magnificent frescoes, bear witness to the splendor of court life. All four wings of the château contain 564 richly decorated rooms, including the Guard Room, the State Room, the Chapel of Saint-Calais and the bedroom of Queen Catherine de Médicis, with its incredible coffered ceiling adorned with interlaced monograms.

royal chamber chateau blois
Magnificent royal chamber in the Château de Blois, France Source: PhotoFires/

Don’t miss Catherine de Médicis’ cabinet of curiosities, with its many small drawers and hidden niches, reflecting the passions and mysteries of this scheming queen.

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Blois, located in the Louis XII and François I wings, boasts a rich collection of works of art. You’ll discover paintings, sculptures and objets d’art from the Renaissance to the late 19th century, including works by masters such as Ingres, Rubens and Boucher.

The tribute to the famous magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, a native of Blois, is also not to be missed.

Finally, your visit wouldn’t be complete without the “Ainsi Blois vous est conté” night-time show. In the choreography of light and sound, this show brings to life the history of the château, and the royal figures who have lived within its walls.

This show takes place every evening from spring to autumn and lasts 45 minutes. The show continues even when it rains.


How much does admission to the Château de Blois cost?

There are several types of admission tickets for the Château de Blois. These are listed below.

The price of admission to the Histopad (a tablet that provides information on the rooms and the history of the château) or an information brochure:

  • 14€ for adults
  • 10.50€ for students, unemployed or large families
  • 7€ for children aged 6 to 17
  • 3€ for audio tour rental.

The audio tour is available in 8 languages: French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Dutch.

Price of a guided tour:

  • 18€ for adults
  • 14.50€ for students, unemployed or large families
  • 7€ for children aged 6 to 17

The price of an unusual visit:

  • 20€ for adults
  • 16.50€ for students, unemployed or large families
  • 10€ for children aged 6 to 17

The price of an evening visit:

  • 20€ for adults
  • 15€ for students, unemployed or large families
  • 10€ for children aged 6 to 17

Check out the current price on GetyourGuide.

How long does a visit to the Château de Blois last?

The recommended duration of a self-guided tour is 1h to 1h30. A guided tour lasts 1 hour.


Where is the Château de Blois?

Château de Blois is in downtown Blois. The exact address is 6 place du Château, 41000 Blois.

How to get to Château de Blois

Blois is close to Paris. If you take the A10 freeway or the RN 152 trunk road, the journey takes less than 2 hours. The distance is also limited from other major cities: Nantes (3h), Lille (4h), Lyon (4h30) …

The nearest parking lots are the château parking lot on avenue Jean Laigret and the Valin de la Vaissière parking lot on quai de la Saussaye.

The other option is to come by train. From the Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris, it’s a 1h30 journey to the Gare de Blois. From there, it’s just a ten-minute walk to the château. The other option is to take the bus. It stops at the foot of the château.


What are the Château de Blois opening times?

The castle is open every day except December 25 and January 1. You can enter up to 30 minutes before closing time.

Opening times vary according to the time of year:

  • January to the end of March: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • April to the end of June: 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • July and August: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • September to early November: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Early November to mid-December: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Late December: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


My opinion of Château de Blois: a beautiful town-center castle

We know Blois very well, as Amélie’s father lived there for several years. The château is right in the heart of the city center.

The advantage is that you can visit it among other activities, then end your day with a trip to the restaurant. The downside is that parking is not free, and it can take a few minutes to find a free space.

Once inside the château, the staircase is the most impressive part. It’s almost as beautiful as the one outside Fontainebleau. I really enjoyed learning about the château’s rich history. I was surprised by the number of rooms, and the tour lasted over an hour. The halls, rooms and chapel are all wonderful discoveries.

The part of the Musée des Beaux-Arts was less interesting, and I preferred to cut it short to go to the Maison de la Magie.

However, the historical part makes the visit pleasant enough to justify the entrance fee. If you’re in Blois, this is probably the best visit you can make.


What else can you do near the Château de Blois?

panoramic view chateau de blois
The Château de Blois is right in the center of town.

Once your visit to Château de Blois is over, there’s plenty more to do in and around the town:

  • Visit the Maison de la Magie: an interactive museum dedicated to the art of magic.
  • Take a cruise on the Loire: a relaxing way to admire the landscape.
  • Explore the Jardins de l’Évêché for a peaceful stroll.
  • Visit the Fondation du Doute: for lovers of contemporary art.
  • Visit other Loire castles, such as nearby Chambord and Cheverny.


As a professional blogger, I take advantage of my flexible schedule to travel a lot. I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!